What’s The Meaning Behind Your Name?

The Meaning Behind Your Name
How To Find Your Passion And Live Your Purpose pt.3

The first step to finding your passion and living your purpose is to find out who you are as a person. This starts with defining your name because in it, is the incorporation of your interests, values, and beliefs. In the Bible, the name of a person also described their character.

In Genesis, Rachel, the wife of Jacob, had much pain during labor giving birth to the youngest son of Jacob. It was so bad that she died giving birth, but with her last breath, she called the name of this child “Benoni,” which means the son of my sorrow or son of my pain. But her husband, Jacob, said no, his name will not be Benoni, but he will be called “Benjamin,” which means the son of my right hand.

So, the first step is to answer the question “Who are you?

This seems an easy one to answer because all you have to do is say your name, but later you will find that is a harder one to define.

For example, my name is Vincent.

Now your turn. Ready, go:

My name is ____________.

Come on, say it with the conviction.

My name is ____________!

Did you say your name? Great! But here’s the hard part of that question, what’s the meaning behind your name?

The focal point of finding your purpose is finding your meaning. Many patriarchs in the Bible were named with their purpose in mind. Adam called the woman, Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. And some were even named out of the situation they were born into, like how we mention Rachael naming her youngest son “Benoni.” The good news is, God can change our name and its meaning. In fact, He can even change our nature. For we read in the book of Corinthians that “if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” (2 Cor 5:17)

I urge you today to seek after God to find that purpose in which you were named or that thing for which you were created. To seek Him (God) is to hear from Him. To do this, you will need to go somewhere quiet, turn off the TV, it’s OK to have some music playing but make sure it’s not going to distract your flow of thoughts.

Close your eyes and let your mind go on a journey. If you find yourself thinking about washing the clothes or what’s for dinner, it’s OK, just acknowledge that those things do need to get done, but you will address them later.

After clearing those “day to day” thoughts from your mind, allow yourself the time to just listen. Listen to the fan blowing, the piece of paper rustling on the table, the sound of your heartbeat. Try not to think, just focus on listening to that soft still voice of the Spirit. Give yourself about 15 minutes to start. If you don’t hear anything now, try again later, but keep seeking to hear His voice until you do.

To seek Him (God) is to hear from Him Click To Tweet

We’re created differently.

As human beings, we are all created differently, and we are therefore unique in our ways. Embracing yourself as you are today and everything else about you, including your interests, values, and beliefs, will be the first step to developing into the person that you would like to become.

Even embracing the burdens, we had to bear, has helped mold us into the people we have become today. There’s a story about a king who had twin sons. There was some confusion about which one was born first. As they grew into young manhood, the king sought a fair way to designate one of them as crown prince. All who knew the young men thought them equal in intelligence, wit, personal charm, health, and physical strength. Being a keenly observant king, he thought he detected a trait in one which was not shared by the other.

Calling them to his council chamber one day, he said, “My sons, the day will come when one of you must succeed me as king. The burdens of sovereignty are hefty. To find out which of you is better able to bear them cheerfully, I am sending you together to a far corner of the kingdom. One of my advisors there will place equal burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go to the one who first returns bearing his burden as a king should.”

In a spirit of friendly competition, the brothers set out together. Soon they encountered an aged woman struggling under a burden that seemed far too heavy for her frail body. One of the boys suggested that they stop to help her. The other protested: “We have a burden of our own to worry about. Let us be on our way.”

The objector hurried on while the other stayed behind to give aid to the aged woman. Along the road, from day to day, he found others who also needed help. A blind man took him miles out of his way, and a lame man slowed him to a cripple’s walk.

Eventually, he did reach his father’s advisor, where he secured his burden and started home with it safely on his shoulders. When he arrived at the palace, his brother met him at the gate and greeted him with dismay. He said, “I don’t understand. I told our father the burden was too heavy to carry. How did you do it?”

The future king replied thoughtfully, “I suppose when I helped others carry their burdens, I found the strength to carry my own.

Understand who you are.

The more you know about your interests, values, and beliefs, your faults, strengths, and character, the closer you are to understanding who you are as a person.

There is a proverb that says “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.”

Take some time to understand your nature, those things that make up or impact your character. Understanding what makes you happy will enable you to express your desires more and allow you to remove those things that might be causing unhappiness.

When you know yourself, you can make better choices about life, from small decisions like what you want for dinner to big decisions like what type of person you would like to spend your life with. When you know yourself, you are better able to understand those things that motivate you and to resist those bad habits that slow you down.

To become who you were meant to be, you must embrace the person you are now. Once you understand who you are and who you would like to be, your mind will start making decisions in relation to helping you become that person.

Change The Meaning 

In Zimbabwe, there’s a man named Gospel Mavutula who was originally named Misery. “I was born at a period when my parents were miserable,” Gospel said of how he got his name. He said his parents, both teachers, had been experiencing pressure at work and problems with their neighbors and this influenced his birth name.

“I decided it was too negative and changed it.” he added. Gospel says his life took a positive turn after changing his name from Misery (meaning great distress) to Gospel (which means good news).

What’s the meaning behind your name? The thing that crosses most people’s minds when this question is asked is the origin. But the real question is; what do others think about you when they hear your name?

Think about it this way, if a person’s name is Bubba, what does that name stand for? Bubba might say the meaning that his parents told him, or, if he thinks of himself as a determined, loving, ambitious person, then he might say that. But what would other people say about Bubba? Would other people say the same, or would they say that Bubba doesn’t see things through, that he’s hard to get along with and lacks discipline.

Take some time to find out what your name represents or more importantly, how you want it to be defined.

Your experiences in life will also help you understand who you are. These experiences have either built you up or have tried their best to break you down. Do you identify with the events and experiences in your life that were difficult, or do you identify yourself with experiences in life that made you stronger? How do you see yourself?

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” –Proverbs

Reflect on the type of person you are. If you’re unhappy with that person, then think about the kind of person that you would wish to be. On your obituary, there are two dates you probably won’t have a say when they come. That is the day you were born, and the day you leave this earth. But there is one mark that you do have the power to determine its meaning, and that is the dash between those dates. That dash (-) is the sum of all the people that influenced you (good or bad) and all the people that you have had an influence on (good or bad).

Maya Angelou once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Click To Tweet

The person you are right now might be described by others but can only be defined by you. Take a moment right now to write down your definition. List the traits you are the proudest of and the ones you wish to change. Accept what is (the now you), let go of what was (the past you) and have faith in what you will become (the future you).

Question: What does your name represent?

Feel free to leave your answer below in the comment section of the blog. I will use the most common responses and develop them into future blog posts to help others. Here’s the LINK to leave a comment.

Additional Resources:

The Name Book: Over 10,000 Names – Their Meanings, Origins, and Spiritual Significance

Righteous Prosperity – Walking in Your Identity in Christ

Finding Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Loveable: Embracing What Is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life

A 5-Step Guide For Creating Your Life Road Map

This post has been featured as a guest post on:
undeniablygodministries.com (Top 100 Christian Blog) and Stream.org